Local Goa News

Sunday, September 25, 2016

16 websites of state govt hacked

PANAJI  : Even as at least 16 websites of various departments of the state government were hacked allegedly by the Pakistan-based hackers at the beginning of this month, no complaint has been lodged till date with the cyber crime police station, displaying an irresponsible attitude on the part of these departments.
Ironically, the website of Goa police is also down, albeit informing that it is closed due to some technical issues.

Chairman of the Info Tech Corp of Goa  Subhash Phaldesai on Saturday said that two to three such websites developed by the ITG and others developed by professional agencies have been hacked, some 15 days ago.
Incidentally, ITG is one of the empanelled agencies for the development of websites, including government websites.
Phaldesai said the ITG is not in charge of providing security to the government websites.
“And then the hackers are always targeting the government websites to gather more publicity,” he added, pointing out that the ITG has nevertheless started retrieval work for data from some of these hacked websites.  As per the information, Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), an agency of the central government, maintains all government websites from the security angle.
“Hacking basically attacks the data on the websites, and before the State Data Centre  at the state IT hub goes live in November, later this year, the ITG will provide it with foolproof security,” the ITG chairman stated, maintaining that balance and perfect use of the software and hardware needs to be maintained so as to prevent such attacks, especially in times when network security system like Firewall are becoming less effective.
IT director Ameya Abhyankar, who is presently in Delhi, when contacted could not share with this daily any details of the hacking.
The hacking of websites including that of the department of accounts has put a number of people interacting through these websites, at risk, with the possibility of their credit card number being available to the hackers.
Among the departments, whose websites have been hacked are information and publicity, fisheries, accounts, Goa housing board, labour, directorate of fire and emergency services, Goa printing press, besides nine websites of the industrial training institutes.
It has been learnt that some of the government departments have presently managed to temporarily revive their websites. However, repeated hacking of websites of the state government departments has exposed major lapses in cyber security system of the state  government.
Incidentally, the department of information and publicity, which faced a hacking attack in 2007, was recreated in 2015, only to be hacked once again now.
Some other websites such as that of the Raj Bhavan have never been re-hosted again after a hacking attack.
Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar, during the recently concluded monsoon session of the state legislative assembly had informed the House that looking at the increase in number of cyber security threats/ concerns, the department of information technology is in process of setting up cyber cell in-house, which would monitor the cyber threats to the government websites.

NT Network Goa News

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